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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

For all the high octane and historic news we've seen over the last twelve hours, what may be the most significant news of the day barely made a ripple over the waves. That was a number produced by the Quinnipiac University polling organization: Donald Trump, ten days from becoming President, has an approval rating of 37%. Most presidents seldom get so low. Some never do. For a Days away from inauguration it's totally unprecedented. For some perspective, by Gallup's numbers, each of the last three presidents had approval ratings of at least 65% during their presidential transitions.

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It's hard for anything to compete with Trump and Obama tonight. But this is a big deal on the Obamacare repeal (or not) front.

I wanted to take a moment to share some thoughts on today's Trump/Russia revelations, or rather some guideposts for how to approach a true mess of information which is undigested, wildly inflammatory and in many cases seemingly fantastical. Let me start by saying that this is the rawest kind of 'intel', if that is even the right word for it. I would caution everyone to maintain a sensible skepticism even if you rightly believe that Trump is a danger to the republic. So with that, a few thoughts.

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CNN has a breaking report that in addition to the reports we're aware of, Russia also compiled compromising information about President Elect Trump. They also included information about on-going contacts between Trump surrogates and members of the Russian government during the presidential campaign. The report seems like the same set of facts which Mojo's David Corn a few months ago - that's my surmise but the claims line up. We'll have more reports shortly.

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Sen. Leahy: D-VT: "Well, Mr. Giuliani likes to say things like that to get on television. He's not a senator."

David has posts below pulling together the evening's rapid fire developments in the Senate, where Republican defections now appear to have at least delayed Obamacare repeal. This isn't out of nowhere. A growing number of Senate Republicans have been expressing skepticism about "repeal and delay" for some time now - even though it's been largely ignored in much of the press. There was an initial flurry of calls for delay just after the election. They were were batted down by the leadership in the House and Senate. But they've been bubbling up over the last week.

There was Susan Collins, Rand Paul and even Tom Cotton, who we mentioned on Friday. Then today Lamar Alexander again expressed his opposition (he did so in November too). Alexander is the Chair of the key health care committee in the Senate. Then came Bob Corker saying not to repeal the Obamacare taxes before there was a replacement (a key point we'll get to below). And then late this evening five senators - Portman, Corker, Collins, Cassidy and Murkowski - introduced an amendment that that would force at least a one month delay before Obamacare can be repealed.

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The statistics covering American manufacturing are complex. American manufacturing is by many metrics doing great. It's American manufacturing jobs which have declined steeply. That's a result of international competition but even more automation. Most of us know this broad story. What most don't know is how recent the drop is.

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